The video conference app (Zoom) that brought the world together during COVID was invented by a guy named Eric Yan who built it to video call his girlfriend.
Here’s how it happened…
Who Invented Zoom?
Eric Yuan is the Founder and CEO of Zoom. He was born and raised in Tai’an, Shandong Province, China.
Eric had been inspired to find a solution to visit his girlfriend, so he developed a piece of video telephone software in 1987. A decade later, Eric moved to San Francisco and was one of the first 20 hires on the WebEx team. In fact, Eric was one of the founding engineers and proved crucial to the success of its online meetings product.
Ouch. Cisco Turned it Down?
WebEx was acquired by security and networking giant, Cisco, in 2007 for $3.2 billion. Under Cisco’s new ownership Eric became Cisco’s VP of engineering. At Cisco, Eric pitched them his original idea for a mobile-friendly video system. They turned it down…
This mobile friendly video system is what became Zoom.
They Couldn’t Have Gone Public at a Better Time…
In April 2019, Zoom went public. Zoom stock shot above its $36 IPO price almost immediately and peaked at $104.49 in mid-2019.
In early 2020, the world was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of people forced to work from home. In March, Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times in just one day.
Thanks to Eric’s girlfriend in 1987, Zoom has become the world’s biggest video conferencing giant.